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tv   The Journal Editorial Report  FOX News  August 25, 2013 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT

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great weeks. and we'll see you next weeks on "fox news sunday." this week on the "journal." chemical weapons in syria and egypt teters on the brink of civil war. how should the u.s. respond? and nsa surveillance programs after the white house issues secret court rulings and president obama says he's on a personal mission to make colleges more affordable. we'll tell you what he's got planned. welcome to the "journal" editorial report. growing concerns both here and
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abroad about america's hands-off approach to the middle east. egypt moves closer to civil war. a syndicated columnist and author of 11 books on the middle east joins me now from london. welcome back to the program. great to have you here. >> thank you. . >> good, let's look at syria. first, a year ago, i think it was, president obama famously said their use of chemical weapons would be a red line that syria shouldn't cross and would have consequences. what is bashar assad's consequences that he's willing to cross that line? >> what happened recently was the sixth attack and now a pattern is emerging, each attack has been bigger than the previous one. so he has been testing both the
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international and public opinion, the united states resolve and also how far he can go inside syria. now we can establish that pattern quite clearly. >> so he figures he's testing the u.s. and so he thinks he can move ahead as he wants to do, that's how you would see it? >> and also, you know, in every case, government media are supporters of the government to leaf the areas targeted before, sometimes they wait for several weeks and then they attack. in every case they attack places picked by the up discussiopposie rebels, to keep the rebels from creating a government. so it is clear that is part of an overall military strategy on
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his part. >> now the president is considering the use of force in the wake of these chemical attacks. do you think that would make a difference and should the united states enter militarily in response to these attacks? >> well, the first thing to do is to make the united states position politically clear. the united states has lost a lot of its credibility in the middle east recently, people hesitate to take it seriously as a major power, it has proved to be a fickle friend. the president says something and nothing happens and so on. so you have to restore confidence first before we can discuss the use of weapons. otherwise if you fire a few rockets as president clinton used to do in afghanistan and then sit back, that would be quite useless. >> but when you say establish --
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re-establish political credibility, what do you mean? do you mean side with the rebels, for example and say look, we are going to act more assertively on their behalf? >> no to take a clear political position in saying that we cannot as the international community allow president assad to continue treating his people, it is clear that the attacks were done by him. there is ample evidence, the president knows this. and this attack is enough to assign a team of american experts to study the area, you would find that the attack has happened. >> right. >> but president obama is hiding behind russia's president putin, in fact the two of them are working together in a sense,
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putin threatens the veto and obama says because of the threat of veto, i can't do anything. >> so you would put together, if you were president obama, you would put together a coalition with the french and the turks and the saudis and others that would interceed in syria, that's what time trying to get at here, would you pick one side to intervene? >> if you want clear things to do, first of all, you know, to organize the refugee areas in iraq, in jordan, in lebanon, in turkey and so on to protect them against president assad's attacks, to create a no-fly zone in areas liberated by the rebels, especially in the kurdish areas of syria, so that they cannot use russian made air force to bomb them, and then to try to tip the balance of armament in favor of the rebels
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by giving them some weapons with which they can defend themselves. and we are not talking of an invasion by american troops, you know, or any direct military participation by the u.s. but, you know, indicating that the u.s. is not on the side of president assad and is on the side of the rebels, and will not tolerate assad's regime. >> all right, that sounds like an intervention on the side of the rebels, if not u.s. troops on the ground. amir terry, thank you very much for being here. >> it is interventionlike for the time being. >> thanks. when we come back, new outrage over the reach of the nsa's surveillance program here at home. but just how worried should we be? so then the little tiny chipmunks go all the way up... ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes,
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appreciate outrage over the scope of the nsa's fresh outrage over the nsa's capacity to reach roughly 75% of all u.s. internet traffic that comes as the nsa -- other electronic communications per year between 2008 and 2011. joining the panel this week, "wall street journal" columnist and deputy editor dan henninger, and editor james toronto. how concerned should we be about these latest revelations? >> none whatsoever, paul. i'm an anti-terror absolutist,
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okay? if i may analogize it, it's a law enforcement agency like the fbi or the police department. they have the capability, clear, to do awful things. the police carry guns and billy clubs, if they wanted to walk down the street pistol whipping people, they could do that, they have the ability. but they don't, why don't they do it? because there are laws and rules preventing them from doing it. there are laws preventing the nsa from doing awful things. there's never been a single identifiable example of a person whose e-mail was damaged or readily the nsa. >> you can abuse guns, but they don't, or if they do they are punished. they have the capacity, the nsa to listen to 90% of our online
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communications. >> this is about collecting information. we have a government that has repeatedly undermined our trust in washington. now they're saying, don't worry, we got this covered. it's very hard to put the american people in a position where they have to choose whether they're going to trust this government or if they don't, they are going to be accused of not helping on the war on terror. >> all right, mary, the 75% figure is a capacity figure, it's what they're capable of doing. we kind of knew they had something like that capacity. the nsa responded and said, look, we don't listen to that. we have access to really about 1.6% that we really look at of these communications and a much smaller fraction. and by the way, these are foreigners that we're listening in on. >> the point is, the government is not supposed to let high-powered weapons go into mexico. it's not supposed to have the irs targeting political enemies. it's not supposed to abandon men in the field in benghazi.
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there's lots of reasons why the rules, as we so confidently look at them and say, you know, that this protects us, might not be backed up. i mean, you know, there are -- >> would you stop doing those? >> i would not stop doing it, but i think ray kelly was right when he said, look, the obama administration could have been a lot more transparent about what's going on here. be straight with the american people, tell them that their e-mails may be captured in this sweep. i think that american people can handle that, what they can't handle is secrets held by the obama administration which they don't trust. >> ray kelly, the new york police commissioner. >> my heart is with jane amary heart is with dan. i distrust the nsa. if you go back and read a story in our newspaper in 2008, what we have learned is entirely
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consistent with that, if you describe the scope of the way this operation working normally. that and the snowden details have put more detail to it. in specific, the revelations about the court admonishing the nsa suggests there is a mechanism for dealing with error, at least, and potentially with abuse. >> and the administration released the court rulings, declassified them themselves, this is not a leak, so it got the information out there and it does show that there is a process by which mistakes overreaching is corrected. >> yeah, it was human operator error, it was not intentional evil grabbing e-mails and reading them. they worked with that judge, if you read down to the bottom of the statement and they corrected the problem to the satisfaction of the court and the court said problem solved. >> is your problem, james, that it's this president or is it the programs themselves?
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and i want to ask mary that too. >> i have a basic distrust of the government, i think a healthy skepticism of our government is part of the american way, and yes, i'm particularly mistrustful of this administration for the reasons that mary gave. on the other hand, we have, as dan says, no evidence that the nsa has been corrupted in the way the irs was. >> mary, the specific abuses at the irs bother me a lot more than this. because you actually there have cases where the government did specifically attempt to punish individuals for their political beliefs, in this case, nsa. we don't have any examples of that. >> i think most americans would prefer that you don't giver the opportunity to anyone in government. james madison pointed out, this is not about individual human beings, this is about creating a system that you don't have to depend on this person or that person or, you know, being trustful, but that the system
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itself would control any kind of abuse against individuals. the other thing is that this information can get into the hands of other people, it's not just the government. i think the edward snowden case is a perfect example of that. >> certainly you have more to fear from criminal hackers than you do from the nsa. you cannot have a big database like that finding terrorists and do the things that you're suggesting. >> be straight with the american people. still ahead, college students head back to campus with a record number relying on federal financial aid to meet skyrocketing college costs. but president obama says he has a plan to make tuition more affordable. details are next. having some fiber! with newmies. they're fruity delicious! just two gummies have 4 grams of fiber! to help support gularity! i want some... [ woman ] hop on over!
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at a time when a higher education has never been more important or more expensive, too many students are facing a choice that they should never have to make. either they say no to college and pay the price for not getting a degree, and that's a price that lasts a lifetime. or do you what it takes to go to college, but then you run the risk that you won't be able to pay it off because you've got so much debt. >> president obama at the state university of new york rolling out the plan to curb college costs. this comes as a new department of education report reveals that a record number of students are taking out loans and a record number defaulting on those loans. we're back with dan henninger, wall street assistant editor and
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elisa finley also joins the panel. for five years i have been listening to the president say he's making college more affordable and now he's saying its unaffordable. >> he's got to pay more attention because he's done the big tour saying how he's making college easier to afford. now he's saying we can't afford the trillion dollars of student loans out there. he p >> so what's going on with the politics here? >> i think people are hoping that basic economics will, now that it's asserting itself will also be appreciated by the white house. you have, for years now, a situation where the government subsidizes college education and now is shocked that prices are rising, haven't done so much to
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pump them up with these grants and loans. i hope there's a market solution as opposed to beating up colleges. >> the administration said that since 1983, fees tuition and four year college has gone up 257% basically in 30 years. much faster than inflation or middle class incomes. why is that happening? >> well, the government keeps on pouring more money into higher ed, keeps on pouring subsidies, keeps on raising the costs, is it really unexpected? >> normal incentive if you're going to put more money into an industry, the cost of that industry, that product or service going up. >> that's right, these colleges are using the money basically to finance these megastadiums, these nice dorm facilities, along with these really high salaries for these executives. >> proliferation of administrators as well is part of the problem or not? >> that's probably one of the
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biggest drivers. at some colleges there are more administrators than there are faculties. >> the president's plan, what is he going to do about it? >> what he's going to do is start ranking colleges as to how much educational bang for the buck they offer to -- if you're a college or university and you're doing a good job, they will award you more funding, and if you're not doing a good job, they will take away funding. i hope that the obama administration realizes that -- academic leftists and people on the right who don't like government interference saying this is not another industry that washington ought to take over. >> he is an optimist, isn't he, that that's going to happen? that's why we love you, james. >> there is a problem, parents
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are finally pushing back against the incredible cost that they have been paying for all these years. so finally the fat is in the fire and the question is who's going to get to the solution quicker t president, the government or the private sector? >> does the president's plan have a chance to work, do you think? >> the problem is that the president's plan is essentially to allow these students to forgive their loans after ten years. that's his income based repayment plan. >> if you decide to go to work in the nonprofit sector, or for government, you can actually write off your loans after ten years. >> what happens if you're someone like you who went to work for the private sector, you don't get that same benefit, do you? >> no, unfortunately. >> but i think that tells you what the danger is on this ranking, though, the president's made it very clear, government now saying we're going to give you a good deal on loans if you
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do nonprofit work or work in government. the same danger on the course side or the academic side, the government's going to be deciding what courses to teach. when we come back, hits and misses of the week. reinforced with scratch- resistant glass and a unibody made kevlar strong. okay google now. call my droid. the new droid ultra by motorola. when strength matters, droid does. i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts,
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time for hits and miss of the week. >> the department of health and human services and its medical research team claimed that the sequester forced him to end a research project on curing blindness and his test project bunny rack ny rabbits. i know that earlier this month it was reported that hhs is preserving from the sequester cuts all obamacare outreach efforts. so i think we can agree that those are the wrong priorities.
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>> this is a hit for eric holder, the attorney general for his announcement that he will initiate more probes in the large financial firms that played a role in the subprime financial crisis. and i'm excited about this because i know for sure this means he's finally going after fannie mae for its role in the junk bonds and also it's possible that he's going to go after citibank, where his treasury secretary used to work. >> surpassing freeman. >> paul a hit for two slivers of evidence that the culture may not be doomed yet. the first is that anthony weiner the mayoral candidate who was in first place after his recent revelations is in last place. the second is that oprah winfrey was going to interview the troubled actress lindsay lohan and nobody showed up to watch. some may say we're bouncing off the bottom with the culture, but i'm going to allow myself a ray
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of hope. >> who says conservatives are pessimists, this is good news august here on this show. that's it for this week's show, thanks to my panel and especially to you for watching. hope to see you right here next week. on fox news watch. >> are you confident that you know everything that's going on with that agency and that you can say it's all done the right way? >> yes, but what i've also said is that it can only work if the american people trust what's going on. >> mr. obama is trying to convince us that nsa spying ask for our own true. but should we be concerned? are the media concerned? conflicts in the middle east continue to heat up. claims of chemical attacks in syria, killing more than 1,000. the situation raising questions about our es


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